Builders: Self Build Houses on a Budget
Every new house build, from exclusive penthouse apartment schemes right down to the simplest self build, always involves compromises in terms of design, materials used and the building techniques involved.
For the experienced house self-builder however, the only aspect that cannot be compromised is the total cost. Once you have settled on a realistic budget, one that allows for cost overruns, delays due to bad weather and so on, then the following ideas should help you stick to that budget, no matter what happens during the build.
The basic premise of building on a tight budget is, better a simple house built well, than an elaborate house built badly.
Nobody wants to be associated with an large, over-designed house that is built slowly and then, through lack of money or forward planning, abandoned half way through and left as a reminder and an object lesson of how not to build your own house.
The cost of a self build house depends on several factors.
1. The location of the self build.
2. How elaborate the house design is.
3. The standard of build and the quality of materials
4. How much involvement the self builder has in the actual physical build of the house.
An obvious way to save money is not to build more than you need to, that is to keep the house as small as is practical and keep the design as simple as possible.
Building a house in a box shape creates the simplest, cheapest roof system and also means that the builders can lay out foundations, blocks and bricks efficiently and quickly.
Look critically at your house design and see can you save money by, for example opting for cheaper windows whilst still maintaining the look you want. Along with windows, self builders may save money by building porches, extensions and chimneys without unnecessary ornamentation.
At the design stage, it may save you money in the long run to employ an architect to oversee your design and ask them to make sure your minimum design is actually possible to build and to suggest any other ways you can keep it simple. Try to find an architect or design company that specialise in low budget self build schemes.
Saving money extends from the design of the house right though to the materials you build it from.
Three areas that can save you significant money are:
Choosing the right bricks to use: standard bricks can be 6/7 times less expensive than specialist non standard bricks.
Choosing a simple house heating system
Using uPVC or softwood windows rather than hardwood windows, this can reduce your window costs by up to 40 percent.
This article is only intended as a basic general summary and you should always seek professional advice where necessary.
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